Friday, January 17, 2014

Typing

The act of typing on a typewriter has become like a form of meditation for me. It inspires creativity on a level that is difficult to achieve on a personal computer. Don't get me wrong. I love modern technology. The computer is a wonderful telecommunication device. It is an efficient tool for the storage and transmission of data. It is even my primary source of entertainment. A few years ago, I gave up a television subscription in favor of YouTube and Netflix. Online entertainment allows me to manage my time on my own terms rather than plan my activities around the television schedule.

But it seems that for every advancement, there is a setback. As we communicate with greater speed, communication becomes more careless. Language becomes less artful and more utilitarian. You becomes U. Sophisticated wit is replaced with a simple LOL. Spell-check and auto-correct point out mistakes that can be corrected with the delete key.

I appreciate modern conveniences as much as anyone, but sometimes there is more to consider than convenience. Fast food is tasty and convenient but not nearly as enjoyable as a home-cooked meal. CGI makes movie special effects easier ... and less impressive.

I believe that the creative process has a great deal of input on the outcome of the creation itself. On a typewriter, the writing process is slower and thus, more thoughtful. Words are not easily deleted, so they are chosen more carefully. The process is more painstaking and therefore, more rewarding.

The typewriter is a single-purpose machine. When I sit down at the typewriter, my mind is in writing mode. There is no temptation to IM, Tweet or get lost on YouTube with the click of the mouse. The sound of the keys drowns out the distractions.

Of course, I'm no primitivist when it comes to modern technology. As I type this on my Royal, my laptop sits on the other side of the table waiting for me to type the final draft into the blog. Just as there is room on my table for a typewriter and a computer, there should be room in our lives for the aesthetics of the past and the advances of the future.

3 comments:

  1. Wait till you start typecasting! Nicely stated, and much of what you say mirrors my own views.

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  2. Exactly. Some writers prefer typewriters because of the lack of distraction. I'm thankful for technology and that this blog and others allow typewriter lovers to connect would not exist without it. It is my intention to preserve the past with the tools of the present.

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